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Tribune notebook: Three with area teams earn high school baseball awards

Atwater's Al Amdahl and Litchfield's Troy Urdahl named to coaches association hall of fame and Litch's Jeff Wollin receives the Dick Siebert Award

Head coach Jeff Wollin talks with his Litchfield baseball team between innings during a game against New London-Spicer in this undated file photo
West Central Tribune File Photo
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In his 29 years as Albany's head coach, Al Amdahl posted a career record of 418-245 with three state tournament appearances and dozens of baseball players who competed in college.

Amdahl, a 1987 Atwater-Grove City graduate, figures the record might have been even better but for who the Huskies had to play against.

"I don't know how much better my winning percentage would have been if we didn't have to go against three hall of famers all the time," said Amdahl, who was referring to St. Cloud Cathedral's Bob Karn, Paynesville's Brad Skoglund and Melrose's Ken Picha. "They are like the Mount Rushmore of high school baseball."

Amdahl is getting to join the monument, figuratively speaking. He has been inducted into the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.

Joining Amdahl is Troy Urdahl, a Litchfield graduate and long-time coach and activity director at St. Anthony Village. Also being honored is current Litchfield head coach Jeff Wollin, who has received the Dick Siebert Award. It's given to a person for coaching baseball "with distinction, professionalism, involvement and longevity."

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Wollin has been a coach for 32 years and has a record of 402-338, which ranks 30th all-time in the state. Amdahl's 20th on the all-time list.

Karn is first on the list with an 818-334 record in 51 years. He'll be back coaching Cathedral this spring. Skoglund is 10th with a 502-253 record in 35 years. He's also expected back at Paynesville. Picha, who is retired, is 15th on the all-time list with a 427-181 record in 29 seasons.

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Amdahl, who remains an economics, social studies and history teacher at Albany, was humbled by his induction, which occurred Jan. 14 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

"It's a little surreal," Amdahl said. "I don't see myself as that kind of caliber. I'm a grinder who's been around a long time."

After graduating from AGC, Amdahl played four years of baseball at Gustavus Adolphus. After a year in Texas, he replaced Bill Krogman as Albany's head coach and has been there ever since, retiring after the 2022 season. He'll be replaced by his long-time assistant, Grant Johnson. Johnson was named the Class AA assistant coach of the year.

It'll be a smooth transition. Amdahl has agreed to be an assistant coach in the program. He did the same after retiring as Albany's long-time defensive coordinator in football, helping out last fall as an eighth-grade coach.

Amdahl and Urdahl were joined in this year's hall of fame class by Tom Schleper of Shakopee, Randy "Hock" Hockinson of Kenyon-Wanamingo, Paul Schumm of St. Michael-Albertville, Mike Wenninger of Luverne and Tracy Wensloff of Roseau.

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Cardinal honored

Willmar Nordic skier Saul Bustos has been named a Central Lakes Conference Performer of the Week.

Bustos placed eighth at the Willmar Invitational on Saturday, helping the Cardinals' boys squad to a tie for first place.

Other CLC athletes honored include:

* From Alexandria, girls hockey player Lauren Maras;
* From Brainerd, boys bsaketball player Johnny Pecarich, girls Nordic skier Ellie Brown and wrestler Isaiah Germann;
* From Fergus Falls, boys swimmer Tyler Kubela;
* From St. Cloud Apollo, St. Cloud Crush girls hockey player Abby Stevens;
* From St. Cloud, gymnast Taylar Schaefer;
* From Sartell, girls basketball player Emily Crandall and wrestler Kaden Brooks; and
* From Sauk Rapids, girls basketball player Grace Roesch, girls Nordic skier Addison Buchanan, boys diver Hayden Zabinski and gymnast Liberty Kosloski.

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